Lot 183. A Mughal gem-set and enamelled gold archer's ring, North India, circa 17th century; 4.5cm. max. length. Estimate 10,000 — 15,000 GBP. Unsold. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Note: Archers' rings with an asymmetrical construction, such as the present example, were designed to enable the archer to release the arrow with precision and in so doing, protect the inner side of the thumb against the bow string. Appreciated for their practical use as well as their craftsmanship, they were presented as tokens of appreciation by the emperors and would have only been worn by his innermost circle. A similar ring is in the Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, inv. no.2216 J (see Keene 2001, p.63, no.6.3).
Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets, London, 01 May 2019, 10:30 AM